General Observations Feed

Underground Stroage Tanks

UST Funds Depleted/Program Suspended

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has sent out notification that the “Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Remediation, Upgrade & Closure Fund (UST Fund) has been depleted. Therefore retroactive to May 3rd new UST Fund applications for both “leaking” and “non-leaking” tank programs will not be processed. These programs had previously provided grants to property owners for the removal, replacement and if needed remediation of petroleum tanks. Both programs are suspended until further funding becomes available. Applications are no longer being accepted for the “non-leaking” tank program however, applications for the “leaking” tank program will continue to be accepted and will be processed in the order which they were received once funding is secured. To view the NJDEP letter that was sent to NJAR®,.Download USTProgramCancellation letter.

PREVIOUSLY

Governor Signs Underground Storage Tank Funding Law

On October 1, 2009, Governor Jon S. Corzine signedA-3739 into law. This new law, which NJAR® strongly supported, allows homeowners replacing or closing petroleum underground storage tanks (UST's) to apply for reimbursement from the state before actually doing work on their UST. Prior to this law, homeowners had to expend their own funds before applying for reimbursement. In addition, the state will have to issue written confirmation to a homeowner that they are eligible for reimbursement funds to close or replace their UST before any work is actually done.

Legislature Approves Underground Storage Tank Fund Legislation

On June 25, 2009, the New Jersey State Senate approved A-3739, legislation which allows certain homeowners to apply for funding to replace or close an underground storage tank (UST) before they begin replacing or closing it. Under current law, homeowners must use their own funds to replace or close a UST before they can apply for funding. A-3739 changes this and also requires that written confirmation be given to homeowners stating their eligibility for reimbursement from the Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Remediation, Upgrade and Closure Fund. This legislation was previously approved by the General Assembly on March 16, 2009 and is now pending the approval of Governor Jon Corzine.

 

New Jersey law now provides grants and loans to homeowners and business owners who qualify from the Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Remediation, Upgrade and Closure Fund to help finance closure and associated remediation of unregulated underground storage tanks (USTs)before they begin to leak. For further details, read the full text of the law.


6 Worth The Price Fix Ups

1. Cleaning and Decluttering Remove any personal items, unclutter countertops, organixe closets and shelves nd make the home sprakling clean. ($299 cost $1990 RETURN)

2. Brightening. Clean all the windows inside and out, replace old curtains, update lighting fixtures and REMOVE ANYTHING BLOCKING the windows, that means also on the outside any shrubs, flowers that have not been trimmed in years. ($375 cost $1550 RETURN)

3. Smart Staging Rearrange furniture, bring in new accessories and furnishings to enhance rooms.incorporate artwork and play soft music in the background.($550 cost $2194 RETURN)

4. Landscaping enhancements Punch up the homes curb appeal in the front and back yards by adding mulch, bushes and flowers and ensuring current plants and grass are well cared for and manicured. ($540 cost $1392 RETURN)

5. Reparing electrical and plumbing. Fix leaks under sinks, remove any mildew stains, and make sure the plumbing is in working order. Update the homes electrical by updating outlets and any lights that don't work. ($535 cost $1505 RETURN)

6. Replacing or shampooing dirty carpets. Steam clean carpets, replace any worn carpets and repair any floors that creak. ($647 Cost $1739 RETURN)

All this is good and worth it as long as it has been taken care of PRIOR to putting the house on the market. So that it is in the best possible light when it first comes on the market. Doing it while it is on the market diminishes all that is being done because the first few weeks any one seeing the house already as their impression of it.

costs excerpted from home gain 2011 home sle maximizer survey. www.homesalemaximizer.com

 

 


Tell Congress: 20% Down Payments Put the American Dream Out of Reach

What's at Stake:

NAR believes Congress intended to create a broad QRM exemption. Evidence shows that responsible lending standards and ensuring a borrower’s ability to repay have the greatest impact on reducing lender risk, not high down payments. Proposals that require high down payments will drive more borrowers to FHA, increase costs for borrowers by raising interest rates and fees, and effectively price many eligible borrowers out of the housing market.

A provision in the Dodd-Frank Act requires that financial institutions retain 5% of the risk on loans they securitize. The purpose is to discourage excessive risk taking and create strong incentives for responsible lending and borrowing.

Congress came up with the QRM concept to ensure that banks were only putting up ‘safe’ loans for securitization. NAR supports this goal, but in practice, regulators have come up with draconian parameters for what constitutes a QRM.

NAR feels this will not only affect buyers, but would also affect the ability of home owners to sell their homes, since there would be fewer buyers who could qualify for home ownership.

NAR wants federal regulators to honor Congressional intent by crafting a QRM exemption that includes a wide variety of traditionally safe, well underwritten products such as 30-, 15-, and 10-year fixed-rate loans; 7-1 and 5-1 ARMs; and loans with down payments in the 5% to 20% range with PMI, where required, and with other features found in low-risk loans such as no prepayment penalties or balloon payments.

 According to NAR Research, 60% of recent home buyers made less than a 20% down payment, and it would take 14 years for a typical person to save up a 20% down payment to buy a median-priced home.

TAKE ACTION NOW! Click on link below and it will automatically send for you!

Please contact Congress today and ask them to make it clear to the regulators that this proposed regulation was not their legislative intent and to instead implement a more reasonable Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) that will keep credit-worthy buyers in the market and able to acquire a loan.


What is Love?

What Love means to a 4-8 year old...

Slow down for three minutes to read this. It is so worth it.

Touching words from the mouth of babes..

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8
year-olds ,

'What does love mean?'

The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have
imagined


'When my grandmother got arthritis , she couldn't bend over and paint
her toenails anymore.. So my grandfather does it for her all the time ,
even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.'
                        Rebecca- age 8

'When someone loves you , the way they say your name is different.
You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.'
                        Billy - age 4

'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne
and they go out and smell each other.'
                        Karl - age 5

'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French
fries without making them give you any of theirs.'
                        Chrissy - age 6

'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.'

Terri - age 4

'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip
before giving it to him , to make sure the taste is OK.'
                        Danny - age 7

'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing
, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mom my and Daddy
are like that.
They look gross when they kiss'
                        Emily - age 8

'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening
presents and listen.'
                        Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)

'If you want to learn to love better , you should start with a friend
who you hate , '
                        Nikka - age 6
                        (we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)

'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt , then he wears it
everyday.'
                        Noelle - age 7

'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still
friends even after they know each other so well.'
                        Tommy - age 6

'During my piano recital , I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked
at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling.
He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.'
                        Cindy - age 8

'My mommy loves me more than anybody
You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.'
                        Clare - age 6

'Love is when Mom my gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.'
                        Elaine-age 5

'Love is when Mom my sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is
handsomer than Robert Redford .'
                        Chris - age 7

'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone
all day.'
                        Mary Ann - age 4

'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old
clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.'
                        Lauren - age 4

'When you love somebody , your eyelashes go up and down and little stars
come out of you.' (what an image)

Karen - age 7

'Love is when Mom my sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's
gross..'
                        Mark - age 6

'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you
mean it , you should say it a lot. People forget.'
                        Jessica - age 8

And the final one

The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an
elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

Upon seeing the man cry , the little boy went into the old gentleman's
yard , climbed onto his lap , and just sat there.

When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor , the little boy
said ,

'Nothing , I just helped him cry'


When there is nothing left but God , that is when you find out that God
is all you need. Take 60 seconds and give this a shot! All you do is
simply say the following small prayer for the person who sent you this.

Heavenly Father , please bless all my friends in whatever it is that You
know they may be needing this day! And may their life be full of Your
peace , prosperity and power as he/she seeks to have a closer
relationship with You. Amen .


TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!!

Those of Us Born
1930 - 1979


At the end of this Email is a quote of the month by Jay Leno.. If you don't read anything else, Please Read what he Said.
Very well stated,
Mr. Leno.

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE

1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!!


First, we survived being born to mothers
Who smoked and/or drank while they were
Pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing,
Tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles,
Locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode
Our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.

As infants & children,
We would ride in cars with no car seats,
No booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.

Riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm day
Was always a special treat.

We drank water
From the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends,
From one bottle and no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon.
We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar.
And, we weren't overweight.
WHY?

Because we were
Always outside playing...that's why!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day,
As long as we were back when the
Streetlights came on.

No one was able
To reach us all day. And, we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps
And then ride them down the hill, only to find out
We forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes with
thorns a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's and X-boxes.
There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable and

some had no TV at all. If you did, it had one or two channels
No video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's,
No cell phones,
No personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms.
WE HAD FRIENDS

And we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth
And there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt,
And the worms did not live in us
Forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays,
Made up games with sticks and tennis balls and,
Although we were told it would happen,
We did not shoot out very many eyes..

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and
Knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just
Walked in and talked to them and their parents.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team.
Those who didn't had to learn to deal
With disappointment.
Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law
Was unheard of.
They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best
Risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever.

The past 50 years
Have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility,
and we learned how to deal with it all.

If someone died from our school, we had no psychologists,

psychiatrists or anyone else to talk to us. We had our parents,

teachers, principals and our friends to sort things out and we

COPED as best we could.

If YOU are one of them?
CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others
who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the
lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives

and took away our freedom for our own good.

While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know
how brave and lucky their parents were to be FREE.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house
with scissors, doesn't it ?


The quote of the month is by Jay Leno:
"With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control,
mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms
tearing up the country from one end to another,
and with the threat of swine flu and terrorist attacks.
Can we be sure this is a good time
to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance or

School?'

For those that prefer to think that God is not watching over us..

..go ahead and delete this.

For the rest of
us...pass this on.

A Small Prayer!


God determines who walks into your life....it's up to you to decide who you let walk away,

who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.

I need this back. If you'll do this for me, I'll do it for you.


When there is nothing left but God, that is when you find out that God is all you need.

Take 60 seconds and give this a shot! All you do is simply say the following small prayer for the person who sent you this.

Father,

God bless my friend in whatever it is that You know they may need this day!
And may their life be full of your peace, prosperity, and power
as he/she seeks to have a closer relationship with you.
Amen.

Then send it on to other people, including the one who sent it to you.

Within hours you will have caused a multitude of people to pray for other people.

Then sit back and watch the power of God work in your life.

P. S... The more you send it to, the better.


Things to Do This Weekend...

Wintersowing Workshop on Saturday, January 29
Visit Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown and learn how to start hardy seeds outdoors during winter in mini-greenhouses made from recycled materials. (Registration & fee required.)

 Junior Detective: Whose toes are those? on Sunday, January 30
 
Nature sleuths (age 5-6) will love learning about a variety of their favorite animals as well as the tracks they make. Every special agent completes their own Animal Passport to take home. (Registration & fee required.)

Nature Detective: Whose toes are those? on Sunday, January 30
Youngsters age 7-10 are invited to become a Nature Detective! We'll learn to identify various animal tracks and make a cast of your favorite track to take home. Complete your very own Animal Case File too. (Registration & fee required.)

Neck, Shoulders, Hands & Feet Massage on Saturday, January 29
 
Learn how to massage the tensed part of the neck and shoulder areas, as well as the soothing and relaxing places such as hands and feet. (Registration & fee required.)

 Comfort Foods on Monday, January 31

From homemade chicken soup to potato pancakes to macaroni and cheese and more, you'll find "comfort" in these traditional favorites. Class is participatory. (Registration & fee required.)

 

To learn more about the Park System or any of its programs, please visit www.monmouthcountyparks.com


Thins to do this weekend in Monmouth County NJ

 

Paperwhite Escape on  Saturday, January 22; Tuesday, January 25; Wednesday, January 26; Thursday, January 27 and Friday, January 28 at 1pm

Stop by the Deep Cut Gardens Horticultural Center, Middletown, and pot a paperwhite narcissus bulb to take home and coax into bloom. Warm beverages will be provided. The cost is $5.00 per person; registration not required.

 

Seashore Open House on Sunday, January 23 from 1-4pm
 
Head over to Seven Presidents' Oceanfront Park Activity Center, Long Branch, for some fun during this Open House. Enjoy engaging hands-on activities while learning about the seashore.  See the aquatic animals on display and talk to a Park System naturalist. Visitors are invited to drop in between 1 and 4pm and enjoy this program free of charge.


January Fireplace Safety

  Keep your family safe with these fireplace safety tips. Build the right size fire, and baby proof the fireplace. Heed safety concerns when cleaning a fireplace and chimney. Learn about fireplace inspection and proper disposal of fireplace ashes. Not sure if you need a chimney sweep to come out to your house? Or, concerned about getting your home dirty? And, what is the difference between having your chimney inspected and having it swept? Chimney Safety Institute of America offers two short online tutorials that walk you through the basics on chimney sweeping and inspections.


January Home Hints

  January is a good time to inspect furniture, cabinets and vanities for loose knobs, pulls and hinges. Tighten or repair as necessary. Tighten screws on drawers, doors, and furniture. Lubricate squeaky door hinges with lightweight machine oil. Free sticky doors by trimming edges or shimming hinges with thin pieces of cardboard. Check the house and make a list of minor household repairs needed. Make a list of broken electrical face plates, missing pulls or knobs, locks that need lubrication, and spots that need caulking around sinks and tubs. Go to the home improvement store and buy everything you need to make all of your repairs at once.


Property Tax Appeals...how to

All properties have been assessed for 2011, so many homeowners start wondering whethter they should start a tax appeal or not.

Here are some guidlines about tax appeals I hope this helps you

1. Both buyers and sellers can benefit from tax appeals
    a. the seller can make thier property more appealing to prospective purchasers
    b. the buyer can potentially reduce their taxes by using their purchase price.

2. The Appeal Process:

    a.Filing deadline: APRIL 1st in ALL municipalities that have not had a municipal wide revaluation or   reassessment.

    b. MAY 1st or 45 days after the Final Notice pf Assessment in municipilaties that have undergone a Municipal wide revaluation or assessment.

    c. The filing deadline is STRICTLY ENFORCED. Failure to file your appeal by the deadline will result in you appeal being rejected.

3. Where will the appeal take place?

    a. COUNTY BOARD OF TAXATION    if the assesment is $1,000,000 or less, you must file with the County Board of Taxation (for me it is Monmouth)

    b. TAX COURT OF NEW JERSEY  if the assessment is more than $1,000,000 you have the right to file with   the Tax Court directly.

4. When is the date of Valuation?
    a. The Valuation date for Tax Appeals is  October 1st of the previous year. So in todays case it would be Oct. 1st 2010.

5. How Can I tell whether I am over- assessed?
    a. In New Jersey, most municipalities do not assess at 100% of true value.
    b. At what percentage of true value is my municipality assessing?
                Rumson:         84.96%
                Little Silver:   76.84%
                Sea Bright:     67.90%
                Red Bank:      100%

To find your municipality percentage value :  Tax equalization rate

6. How Does Assesed Value Compare to Implied Value?
     In the following hypothetical example I will use the above towns as an example:
            If your 2011 assessment is $500,000

            In Rumson your property is worth $588,512 using the 84.96%
I took the assessed value of $500,000 and divided it by town percentage value which in Rumson is 84.96%
    
            Little Silver: $650,703 using 76.84%
            Red Bank:     $500,000 using 100%

7. What does the homeowner have to prove?

    Assessing is not an exact science.

            You must Prove that the Implied Value is 15% TOO High
using the above example the Rumson owner is assessed at $500,000- the owner will have to demnstrate that the value was less than $511,771 as of October 2010 for any relief.

            How did I come up with this number?  on the chart that you clicked the above link, already has it done for you. 
    
    
If you want to do it manually you would take the percentage rate in this case 84.96% x1.15= 97.70 (upper rate). move the decimals over to the left. Then divide the assessed value again in this case $500,000ivided by .9770 =$511,770.726 and that' how it is done :)

 8. Appeal at Your Peril!!!
  
   a. When a homeowner appeals and their assessment is too low, their assessment can be INCREASED!
     b. The possibility of an increase is another reason that it is vital to consider engaging an attorney who focuses mainly on real estate tax appeals to examine the case.

9. Tax Court Value

    Residential Properties
        
Tax Court Value generally equals Actual Market Value
        Sales Comparison Approach
        Cannot compare assessments or taxes to other properties -  
                    The question is what was the Property Worth as of October 1 2010?
                    in other words Is YOUR VALUE too versus the comparable sales?

10. How can a Realtor Help YOU the Homeowner?
      
a. A Realtor can gather the information on comparable sale.
      b. A Realtor can use the MLS to locate sales data between October 1, 2009 and October 1, 2010.

            What is a comparable?
            It must have similar location, square feet, acreage, HOME TYPE, age, condition, amenities (pool, basement etc.)

     c. Make sure that the Comparable Sales are high Quality.
     d Questions to ask:
            -Was the sale marked non-usable? ( the SR1A's will have that marked, these are the papers that the town has on each property sale).
            -
Was the property exposed on the market for a very long time?
            -Were there several offers made?
            -Was the seller UNUSUALLY motivated to sell?

Monmuth County Appeal paperwork

for more detailed information on assessments

Before starting the appeal proces you may want to get an appraisal done cost can be anywhere from $450 up.

As a buyer who has a contract on a property and feels that taxes and assessment is high can legally start an appeal before they close on the property. This way they can benefit from the appeal during their first year in the new home.

Please feel free to contact me or Ted Kuch contact below for more information. 

This information was obtained by me from a seminar that Edward Kuch held. He and his firm handle Real Estate Tax Appeals to contact them:
                                                    Edward J Kuch III 
                                                    Skoloff & Wolfe ,P.C. 
                                                    973.232.2972
                                                    ekuch@skoloffwolfe.com

Let them know where you got your information.

This information is deemed reliable and nnot guaranteed. Consult your professionals for accurate information pertaining to your individual situation.